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Spike Lee calls Trump a ‘gangster’ who’s ‘trying to be a dictator’ over George Floyd protests

‘The Bible did not look comfortable in his hand, and he didn’t look comfortable holding the Bible either,’ says filmmaker of Trump’s recent photo-op

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Thursday 04 June 2020 07:01
Protesters take a knee in memory of George Floyd

Spike Lee has strongly criticised Donald Trump’s response to protests in the US, calling him a gangster and a dictator.

The director commented to the ongoing demonstrations, which are occurring in response to the death of George Floyd, in a recent interview with the BBC.

Lee is quoted as saying that Trump’s response to the protest is a sign that ”he’s a gangster, he’s trying to be a dictator”.

Trump has threatened to use the Insurrection Act of 1807, which empowers the president to use military force to stop unrest, in response to the demonstrations.

Lee also reacted to Trump’s photo-op at St John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC, during which the president posed for staged images holding the Bible in front of the building.

“The Bible did not look comfortable in his hand, and he didn’t look comfortable holding the Bible either,” Lee told the BBC.

“I have never seen something like that before in my life, particularly with a world leader.”

Protests started in the US after Floyd died aged 47 on 25 May in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a white police officer knelt on his neck.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Lee reflected to the ongoing demonstrations, telling the BBC on Tuesday: “People are angry because black people are being killed left and right, cops walked away free.

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“Black and brown people are angry at the disparity between the haves and have-nots – education, drinking dirty water, racism.

“People are angry for a reason. It’s not like you’re just born angry. You’re angry because you live every day in this world where the system is not set up for you to win."

The filmmaker's next movie, Da 5 Bloods, will be released on 12 June on Netflix.